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May 04, 2017123456789RHE
Win: RANDOLPH (15-9) 9.042217
Loss: MANDY JORDAN (22-9) 8.293347
May 04, 20171234567RHE
Win: MCCARLEY THOMAS (12-8) 7.062074
Loss: WADE (8-14) 4.133271
Second game hitting gives softball an ASUN doubleheader split
Thursday, May 4, 2017
By Mark McGee
Second game hitting gives softball an ASUN doubleheader split

FORT MYERS, Fla. – It was getting late on the Gulf Coast, but the bats of the Lipscomb Lady Bisons finally came alive.

After falling 3-2 in nine innings in game one the Lady Bisons came back strong in the nightcap for a 10-2 win at Florida Gulf Coast Thursday night.

“They felt like an eternity,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said.  “We came in to game two like we wanted to get a win. This team knows they are capable of more.”

The third game of the series and the final regular season game is scheduled for noon Friday. Lipscomb is 35-17, 8-9 in the ASUN. FGCU is 25-28, 7-9 in the conference.

“We have to play with a purpose and find a way to win,” Ryman said. “We have to find a way to bring the same energy we saw in game two to Friday’s game.”

In game one the Lady Bisons finished with only four hits. A two-RBI single to left field by Chloe Yeager was the offensive highlight.

Mandy Jordan is 22-9 overall, 5-5 in the ASUN. She gave up nine hits, struck out seven and walked four in game one.

Riley Randolph, 15-9, was the winner. She struck out seven and walked one.

“What was frustrating in game one is we can’t expect Mandy to go out and be perfect in every game,” Ryman said. “She is going to go out and give us everything she’s got, but we can’t expect her to always strike out 12 and only give up two or three hits.

“We have to give her some offensive support. Defensively, we have to play stronger behind her.”

Ryman chose to do some switching in the batting order in game two and the moves proved to be effective.

“It was a very spirited talk between games,” Ryman said. “We had talked about it a little bit over the past week, but we didn’t want to pull the trigger too quickly.”

Destinee Brewer moved to the lead-off spot from ninth. Kasey Gibson was placed at No. 2. Abby Fenichel was moved to third and Caitlin Plocheck went from third to fifth.

Sarah Higgins remained in the clean-up position. The rest of the order was Peyton Ward in sixth, Hannah DeVault at No. 7, Chloe Yeager in the No. 8 position and Khayla Green in the ninth spot.

“We had to change something,” Ryman said. “Destinee has been doing a great job lately and we wanted to find a way to get her some more at bats.

“Whether it was the changes, or the talk between games, we certainly came out with a lot more energy in game two. We were the aggressor in game two. I liked what I saw in game two. I would like to see that keep going.”

The Lady Bisons connected for 10 hits in the second game. They struck first in the second with one run and added another in the top of the fourth. FGCU tied the game in the bottom of the fourth at 2-2, but the Lady Bisons bounced back with five runs in the fifth and three more in the seventh.

McCarley Thomas, 12-8, 3-4 in the conference, allowed six hits, walked seven and struck out four.

Taylor Wade, 8-14, started for FGCU and gave up three hits and three runs, two earned, in 4.1 innings. She walked seven and struck out one. Gabbee Draney threw the final 2.2 innings. She scattered seven hits and gave up seven runs, five earned. She walked one and did not strike out a batter.

“The best teams I have coached find a second wind late in the season,” Ryman said. “Teams have to be driven this time of year. They have to play with a purpose. That is how you win championships.”

Scorebook notes:

  • It was highest run total of the season for the Lady Bisons in an ASUN game.
  • Brewer responded in game two with three hits, her game-high for the season.
  • Plocheck, with her two RBI in game two, moved into the team lead with seven multiple-RBI games.
  • DeVault’s home run was her fourth of the season and her first in an ASUN game.
  • Plocheck has 16 doubles for the season.
  • The nine-inning loss was the longest game of the season for the Lady Bisons.
  • All nine starting hitters are in double figures in RBI. Plocheck leads the way with 32.
  • Ward stole two bases in game two and has 20 for the season.
  • Green hit her third double of the season, her first in an ASUN game this season.